Week 3: reflection

This is quite late, bleeding into the timeline for the week 4 post, but I wanted to write a reflection anyway because I have a lot to reflect upon.

            I’ve been noticing the situations in which I struggle to be present. I have such a hard time with lectio divina on our large calls. I just can’t focus and I feel guilty for it, like I should be capable of presence at all times. Even though I shouldn’t feel guilty. On the other hand, I notice the moments when I am present: reading The Duty of Delight makes me feel so much more present to my family and the world around me. After sitting still with the book for an hour or two, time feels slower. I’m able to breathe more and respond with patience, running inane errands for my mom without complaint, resisting the urge to resent her for interrupting my cross-stitching!

            On Monday, Casey and Angie said to me that they’d noticed such a big change in my writing since the first week of this workshop. I laughed because I knew that was coming! I see the apparent contradiction between my first post (so much indecision!) and my week 3 post. What’s happened, though, is that I’ve felt more capable of articulating a vision that has been within me for a long time. The week 3 dream didn’t come out of nowhere – it’s the long-term dream that’s been in the back of my mind for ages. The week 1 post reflects my uncertainty in terms of concrete next steps. Like, the dream has long felt half-real. How can I get there? I’m often caught up in the fears and logistics and in-between steps, a sense of distance between that imagined future and my present. In the past few weeks, though, I’ve more firmly claimed that dream, and that’s both terrifying and thrilling. The dream becomes a bit more solid with each articulation.

            My group also helped me reflect upon my need to sleep, to give myself permission to rest. I know this, I know this, but it’s so hard to actually know it, like in my bones. I am very aware of how I have been conditioned, but knowing about the false gods of capitalism and productivity doesn’t make me automatically revoke my devotion to those gods. I’m trying. My reason for this late post is that I didn’t go on my computer all weekend, a retreat of sorts. I am trying.  

            Finally, Leah’s project has continued to inspire me to think more deeply about creativity in my life. I find myself thinking more about more about writing: why do I run from it? Do the reasons that I name really tell the whole story?

3 thoughts on “Week 3: reflection

  1. Thank you, Abby! It is a delight to journey with you. I want to offer a big, holy, enthusiastic yes to your naming of your need to sleep and rest. So. Much. Yes. to that, Abby. I offer as a companion, Tricia Hersey, an awesome Black theologian, activist, artist, and community organizer who founded “the Nap Ministry” which challenges “grind culture” and celebrates sleep and rest as resistance to oppression and white supremacy.

    https://www.instagram.com/thenapministry/?hl=en

    1. Oh, my Lord. Who would have thought — “Nap Ministry.” A blessed theological and anti-oppression justification, as if one were needed. I love it. I have a whole list of folks to send this one to. Every time I’ve been on a retreat other than a weekend I’ve spent the first two days sleeping. Chronically deprived.

      Since pre-corona virus I’ve been part of a four-person book group reading “Extreme Self-Care” by Cheryl Richardson (Apple Books 1.99 download). Must reading, especially for women. Three in this group are working from home, two single moms, one married with kids. I’m the outlier. We meet twice a month, one chapter a month, now by Zoom. Short chapters with homework.

      Before I got into Discern|Dream|Scheme, our chapter of choice was “The Power of Rhythm and Routine.” All of us were exhausted, sleeping poorly, sleeping in too late, going to bed too late, eating at weird times. Other things were awry too. We partnered up and 2-3 times a week touched base around 9:15 PM: “How are things? Are you winding down?” Awesome. In one short call or text was accountability, encouragement from a caring adult, mindfulness when we chose to work late that carried over into days without calls, setting priorities in our to-do lists. Our sleep patterns and a lot of other things improved. We built good habits. Right now our focus is “Find Your Passion!” Imagine that.

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